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Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle

The first feature-length movie made in Scottish Gaelic for the bigscreen, "Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle" is a strikingly composed but dramatically inert yarn about a man's search for the truth behind his parents' deaths.

With:
With: Padruig Moireasdan, Aonghas Padraig Caimbeul, Colla Domhnallach, Dolina MacLennan, Winnie Brook Young, Crisdean Domhnallach, Annie NicLeoid, Calum MacFhionghain, Scott Handy, Toby Robertson, Iain Macrae, Vidal Sancho, Isabel NicRath, Meg Bateman, Tearlach Quinnell, Daibhidh Walker.

The first feature-length movie made in Scottish Gaelic for the bigscreen, “Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle” is a strikingly composed but dramatically inert yarn about a man’s search for the truth behind his parents’ deaths. Shot in hard, saturated colors (nicely transferred from HD to 35mm widescreen) that make the most of the west Scottish scenery, pic yo-yos between the protag’s boyhood and Gaelic myth, but generates little spiritual uplift. Niche outings are the best bet for this linguistic curio.

Aonghas (Colla Domhnallach) visits his dying grandfather (Aonghas Padraig Caimbeul) in the hospital, hoping to get some emotional closure after his parents’ deaths on the eponymous rugged peak (pronounced “shack”) in the Isle of Skye. However, grandpa is more interested in recounting Gaelic tales of yore — about a hero who climbed Seachd in search of the magical Crimson Snowdrop, or a woman who fled her abusive father and joined a traveling magician — than in giving him straight answers. Meanwhile, flashbacks to Aonghas’ childhood show how he tried to run away from the stifling Gaelic community. Past and present blur as Aonghas, in an anticlimactic finale, climbs the peak in question.

Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle

U.K.

Production: A Soda Pictures release of a Scottish Screen, Gaelic Media Service, BBC Alba presentation of a Young Films production. (International sales: Young Films, Isle of Skye, U.K.) Produced by Christopher Young. Executive producers, Iseabail MacLenan, Carole Sheridan. Co-producer, Morag Stewart. Directed by Simon Miller. Co-directors, Calum MacKinnon, Iain F. MacLeod, Christine Morrison. Screenplay, Jo Cockwell, Ishbel T. MacDonald, MacLeod, Aonghas MacNeacail, Miller; story, Cockwell, Miller.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm, widescreen), Ian Dodds; editor, Angus Mackay; music, Jim Sutherland; production designer, Laurel Wear; costume designer, Bobby McCulla. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival (British Gala), Aug. 24, 2007. Scottish Gaelic, English dialogue. Running time: 91 MIN.

With: With: Padruig Moireasdan, Aonghas Padraig Caimbeul, Colla Domhnallach, Dolina MacLennan, Winnie Brook Young, Crisdean Domhnallach, Annie NicLeoid, Calum MacFhionghain, Scott Handy, Toby Robertson, Iain Macrae, Vidal Sancho, Isabel NicRath, Meg Bateman, Tearlach Quinnell, Daibhidh Walker.

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